The big dogs of college athletics have ensured they will remain atop the food chain.

The NCAA board of directors has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping package plan that will give the five biggest conferences the ability to create their some of their own rules.

If the legislation approved Thursday withstands an override attempt, the five wealthiest Division I conferences could start exercising their new autonomy as early as Oct. 1.

The SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 will have the ability to implement some rules on their own, though probably not policies on rules violations. But a stipend for athletes that goes beyond currently allowed limits of tuition, room and board, books and fees, seems likely.